Valued Friendship, a PBX Winter Hike


Feb 20, 2004
Pestletown, N.J.
Back in late November , Hewey from this site and I were exchanging texts while deer hunting one night and we talked about getting together in the woods for a few holiday beverages and some general jocularity. We both agreed to wait until the hunting slowed down a little and we would then plan a Sunday afternoon outing. Pinelandpaddler contacted both of us with the same idea a few weeks ago and that was the impetus to set a date. We quickly decided to expand the little gathering into a full blown PBX hike and I volunteered to plan it.

I have always loved the Friendship Bogs area of the pines for its remoteness and rugged beauty. I have also been fascinated by the amount of work that went into constructing bogs of that size and the backwoods surveying and engineering required to dam natural streams, construct reservoirs and regulate water levels. It is interesting to ponder the equipment and technology that was available at the time these bogs were built.

I decided to plan to explore north of Carranza and hike through and along the Ore Spong and the Featherbed Branches that feed parts of Friendship Bogs south of Carranza.

We had a beautiful day with temps in the low 40's and 13 of us men and women left the parking site at 09:15.

Our route. Counterclockwise from Park.

The first interesting find was a 7 point deer skull found by my wife just minutes after Hewey was talking about finding sheds.

After a long, slow pull between the Ore Spong and Featherbed we arrived at a point of interest I had selected from the aerials. It was a linear feature and appeared to be water related. It turned out to be a dike with a corduroy road along its length. My wife and son plodding along the submerged road.

The road.

The Featherbed Branch turned out to be the high point of the hike. It was beautiful and serene with barely perceptible flow.

Guy holding up a tree.

My son and his girlfriend.

The Ore Spong north of the Jersey Central Railroad. Water table was way down !

The northernmost bog on the Ore Spong.

We struggled to complete a 4 mile+/- loop in less than 6 hours which speaks something about a lot of the terrain. Sadly, we had to bypass several waypoints at the end.
I shall return.

Thanks to Bob and Guy for assisting with the prep and thanks to Hewey and Pinelandpaddler for the ideas.

Most of all, thanks to all of the friends and family that attended this hike which reinforced the name Valued Friendship.

I hope to be doing this long after I am dead.


Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
Pines; Bamber area
Scott and Mike,

I really appreciate the good food at the tailgate. I ate a lot, I hope you didn't mind! The cookies were very good too.

It's good to start getting back out there after our brief hiatus.


Mar 10, 2005
Pinewald, NJ
What a great day to be in the woods, we had perfect weather in my book! I'm glad the day turned out the way it did. It was one of largest groups we have had in a while. It was great catching up with some great friends I have not seen in a long time and making some new.

We spent a good part of the hike in a great stand of cedar.

PBX making their way through the cedar.

A cool cedar I came across when I wandered a little ways off from the main group. It has a large main trunk and splits into four separate trunks about six feet or so from the ground.

It had a couple cool burls on it also.

The Featherbed Branch.

We came across very little sign of recent human activity except one dedicated hunter that gets in deep.
His makeshift bridge through an area that is dry now due to the deficit of rain. In other years I am sure it is very wet.

Friends enjoying good food, drink and conversation. Nothing beats a PBX tailgate.

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Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
This was very interesting and at times quite challenging. The group was up to it and despite Jessica having a very brused leg the two of us came out of it quite well.

9AM meeting spot on Carranza Road.


Stopping for some sort of discussion. The gentleman on the right closest to me is member Menantico on his first hike with us. He was up to the challenge!


79 year old Lost Town Hunter surveying the corduroy road.


SmokeJumper doing the same. BTW, this photo was taken with my camera and the one above with my iPhone.


Don't we all wish we could go back in time to see what went on here? I always stand there thinking that very same thought.


One of my favorite places to be.


Sharing the same moment together.


Dottie making her way back across while Ted and Mickey look on.

It was certainly a great hike in an area I had not yet explored. The cedar swamp was amazing and finding that corduroy road out there was definitely a highlight. I must say though that meeting such a great bunch of welcoming, friendly people was the best part of the day for me. Thanks again for letting me come along and I look forward to our next adventure!
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Jul 20, 2003
millville nj
But Steve Miller was pronouncing it wrong. :)
The true South Jersey pronunciation of the Maurice River is "Morris". And the little town along the river is pronounced Morristown, not Moreeesstown
I have argued this with several people over the years.

Al, can you back me up on this ?
If you refer to the river that drains through Union lake and hits the bay at East Point by anything other then the pronunciation of "Morris" around here you are immediately taken for a Shoobie.This is usually not a flattering term.We know how to spell it but we have our own pronunciation.Same goes for Mauricetown,pronounced the same way as the larger town in North jersey only without the nasal congestion and yes Creek is commonly pronounced "Crik" and Dividing Creek (Crik) is occasionally referred to as "Split Ditch". These places can all be accessed via "Buckscrotem Road"
Also Port Norris is slurred to Port Nars more then occasionally.
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Mar 5, 2012
Atco, NJ
This was another great PBX hike. My only complaint would be it was to long of a wait since the last hike;)
While this hike did have some challenges the benifits definitely out weighed them. The trip through the featherbed cedars was one of the highlights to me. The section with all the dead fall was curious to me. They were all the small saplings while the mature cedars were very healthy.
The coduroy road was a close second to the highlight of the day. Stacking those logs that precise for a temporary road amazes me.
After pushing through the thick stuff all morning the Central RR was a welcome sight.
And any hike is not complete with out the tailgate at the end. This one definitely did not disappoint. Valued Friendship is a very appropriate name. I can't wait for the next hike.

BTW it's definitely "Morris" we ran a charter boat out of Port Norris for years. We always had to correct people that came down.